HOMEBASE in Chippenham is to close, meaning customers will now have to travel to Bath or Swindon to shop.

Signs have been put up at the Hathaway Retail park, informing customers of Homebase’s imminent closure on June 28 which will leave a big gap at the retail park.

Cllr Sandie Webb, leader of Chippenham Town Council, said: “It is hugely disappointing for everyone.

“I just hope something else is going to come along and take the big unit.

“I’m not too sure what kind of impact the closure will have.”

Chippenham BID, however, is not concerned about the empty unit and believes that it will be back in business with a new store soon.

Manager Kathryn Crosweller said:“Homebase is a large unit in a desirable area of the town centre, particularly because of the free parking available at Hathaway Retail Park and the range of shops in close proximity.

“Chippenham BID is speaking to the managing agent about ways to support new tenants and we hope to see a new business take up residence soon.

“We’re very pleased to say that Chippenham has a low vacancy rate, with only a handful of vacant units throughout the town centre.

“In April 2017 this was recorded at three per cent compared to the national small towns average of nine per cent, and this has largely remained stable over the last 12 months.”

Homebase stores have been disappearing from high streets across the UK over the last few months as the company has been struggling since it was sold to new owner Wesfarmers by Home Retail Group for £340 million in 2016.

The company has not said why the store is closing, but a spokesman for Homebase, said: “We can confirm that our store in Chippenham is set to close on June 28.

“Our priority now is to continue supporting team members.”